KIDS NEEDS YOU! THIS END OF THE YEAR APPEAL IS THE ONLY TIME WE COME TO YOU ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL TAKE THE TIME TO READ THE FOLLOWING AND SIMPLY CONTRIBUTE TO THE FUTURE OF KIDS BY MAKING AN ONLINE CONTRIBUTION IN ANY AMOUNT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE DOING.
There is an ancient Chinese curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.”
By any measure you may apply, 2016 was a highly interesting year for KIDS.
When we founded KIDS twenty-two years ago, we never imagined that the program would still be in existence today and continue to be alive and a vibrant part of the education world. So, it was a rude shock that the program was almost brought to its knees when our website was “hacked” by a group based in China. The “hack” was multi-layered and while the site itself was restored in three days it took two months for life to come back to normal. The hack turned out to be like time released medicine. First the site, then our proprietary email program and finally the GOOGLE Search engine.
We cleared up the problems in the first two areas quickly, but the GOOGLE Search aspect lingered on for two months. The hackers used our email address to send spam to people causing GOOGLE to remove us from their search engine results. This meant that KIDS did not show when people searched for hunger education. We are pleased to report that all is back to normal and not only are we included in GOOGLE search results but, in most cases, are number one in the rankings.
We had to devote a great deal of time, energy and money to offset the problems encountered by the hack. It is through you and people like you that we were able to be financially secure enough to weather this storm.
As you are aware, the operation of KIDS has been extremely low cost since no one associated with the program is paid. Therefore, our administrative costs are kept artificially low as we could provide the unpaid “sweat labor” and all the other chores/responsibilities involved in growing and maintaining the program.
As we told you last year, those days are coming to an end. We are in the midst of planning an exit strategy to ensure the future of the program under the leadership of iEARN after we are no longer actively involved in the day to day operations. To accomplish this goal, last year we announced the start of a legacy campaign to carry us through the transition stage and into a bright future. Many of you responded by increasing your annual donation and pledging to support this campaign. Some of the goals of this campaign include:
• The establishment of a permanent member of the iEARN staff to assume responsibility for the program.
• The transfer and maintenance of the administrative and record keeping tasks that we now perform to iEARN.
• All marketing functions including the KIDS Newsletter and Idea Clearing House publications and KIDS Website to be continued under the banner of iEARN.
The goal of the campaign is to raise $300,000 over five years to fully fund the program. Fifty percent of the money raised will be used to support KIDS programmatic work over the next five years and the remaining fifty percent will secure the legacy of KIDS’ founders.
We hope that you will join us in ensuring the future of the KIDS program.
Larry & Jane Levine